Expo Blog

The Expo Blog is a space for posts on the history, themes, legacies and experience of Expos. It includes articles from the BIE and external contributors.

 

Superman Day: when a comic superhero came to life

Superman Day: when a comic superhero came to life

The New York World’s Fair, which celebrated the 150th anniversary of George Washington’s presidential inauguration, was a momentous occasion for New Yorkers and for the world, attracting some 45 million visitors over its two seasons in 1939 and 1940. The Expo was also a remarkable event for fans of superheroes, as it staged the first ever appearance of Superman. Previously confined to comic books and radio shows, it was on 3 July 1940 that visitors could come to the Expo and for the very first time see the superhero in the flesh.

On this day, known as Superman Day, the cost of a children’s ticket to the Expo was reduced from 50 cents to 5 cents, encouraging visitors to attend. The event was the brainchild of publicist Allen ‘Duke’ Ducovny, with the aim of attracting more visitors to the Expo and boosting sales of the 100-page special edition of DC’s New York World’s Fair Comics, which was only on sale on the Expo site.

Read More

Japan's largest Ferris Wheel opens in Osaka's Expocity

Japan's largest Ferris Wheel opens in Osaka's Expocity

Expo 1970 in Osaka may have closed to the public more than 45 years ago, but the former Expo site continues to attract visitors. Today, locals and tourists alike have another reason to visit, with the opening of a 123-metre Ferris wheel – the largest in Japan and fifth largest in the world - in Osaka’s Expocity. The Redhorse Osaka Wheel provides riders with a breathtaking view of the Tower of the Sun, the iconic symbol of Expo 1970.

Since Expo 1970 came to an end, the original site has been partly preserved and partly renovated, allowing it to hold onto the Expo’s legacy while offering new activities to attract visitors. The 330-hectare site boasts a range of attractions, including the memorial park, a children’s museum, and ‘Expocity’ – Japan’s largest commercial complex in which the Redhorse Osaka Wheel is located.

Read More

The Hive comes back to life in Kew Gardens

The Hive comes back to life in Kew Gardens

After ending its highly praised exhibition as the UK Pavilion at Expo 2015 Milan, The Hive, winner of the BIE gold medal for architecture and landscape (pavilions less than 2,000m2), is starting a new life in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, in London. The iconic structure will be open to the public tomorrow, Saturday 18 June.

Expo 2015 Milan was organised under the theme ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’, and the Hive was the centrepiece of the UK’s participation in the Expo. The pavilion, which received over 3 million visits during the Expo, was designed by renowned architect Wolfgang Buttress and was dedicated to the role of bees in carrying out pollination. The contribution of these insects as pollinators is necessary for the reproduction of many plant species, making bees crucial to the global ecosystem and to the food chain. The Hive’s message draws attention to the importance of protecting bee species.

Read More

Cultivating Tourism in Haiti: The Bicentennial International Exposition of Port-au-Prince, 1949

Cultivating Tourism in Haiti: The Bicentennial International Exposition of Port-au-Prince, 1949

The 1949 Bicentennial International Exposition of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, also known as the “Festival of Peace,” was held during the presidency of Dumarsais Estimé (1946-1950). Sanctioned by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), this International Exposition celebrated the 200th anniversary of the founding of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It also represented an effort by Dumarsais Estimé’s government to beautify and modernize the capital to encourage tourism and international investment.

The exposition area, known as the Cité de l’Exposition or Cité Dumarsais Estimé, created a new waterfront area for tourists and locals to enjoy. Palm trees lined the principal artery named after former United States president Harry S. Truman (1945-1953). The architecture and visual art in the Cité de l’Exposition featured the work of Haitians and foreigners including Albert Mangonès, August F. Schmiedigen, and Jason Seley. Participants included the United States, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, San Marino, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Canada, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala, Chile, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Jamaica. Pan American Airways, Vatican City, the United Nations, and the Organization of American States (OAS) participated in the festivities as well.

Tags:
Read More

Barcelona celebrates the 30th anniversary of the reconstruction of the Mies van der Rohe’s pavilion

Barcelona celebrates the 30th anniversary of the reconstruction of the Mies van der Rohe’s pavilion

Today marks 30 years since the Mies van der Rohe’s pavilion was rebuilt in its original place for the enjoyment of Barcelona’s residents and in homage to its architect.

The Pavilion, originally designed for the World Expo 1929 by the prominent German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, served as the German national pavilion and was the venue for the reception of King Alfonso XIII of Spain as well as many German political figures.

Read More